Telefónica opens a new era for sport with the application of 5G, artificial intelligence and augmented reality

Telefónica, as a provider of technological services, is presenting at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) a series of success stories and innovative solutions aimed at the world of sport, a key sector for society and the economy due to its dynamic and structuring nature and the values it transmits.

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  • With the ‘Sport 4.0’ demo, Telefónica is showing at Mobile the powerful lever that technology represents to boost the visibility and impact of sport in society.
  • The application and combination of technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, edge computing and big data offer new possibilities to improve the performance of athletes and increase the efficiency and sustainability of sports facilities.

Madrid, 30 June 2021. Telefónica, as a provider of technological services, is presenting at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) a series of success stories and innovative solutions aimed at the world of sport, a key sector for society and the economy due to its dynamic and structuring nature and the values it transmits. These applications can be seen in the demo that the company is exhibiting at this year’s Mobile, called ‘Sport 4.0’, precisely to capture the fundamental idea that technology is a powerful ally to increase the visibility and impact of sport, which is no stranger to the extraordinary opportunity that digital transformation offers to companies and society as a whole.

Technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, edge computing, IoT and big data offer new possibilities to the world of sport. Among them, the continuous monitoring of physiological and technical aspects of the athlete in order not only to improve their sporting performance, but also to favour such a crucial aspect as their recovery and look after their health to help extend their sporting career.

Telefónica’s solutions and services are also applied to the digitisation of sports spaces and facilities to increase their performance and enhance the uses that can be made of them. In this case, the technology helps to achieve higher standards of efficiency and sustainability and also makes it possible to capture data that can be useful for broadcasts and the athletes themselves. The application of these solutions is the focus of the ‘Sport 4.0’ demo, in which the different real cases exemplify the potential that technology and sport have when they go hand in hand.

Use cases

Telefónica has developed together with Granada Club de Fútbol a transformation project based on the Global Sport Platform of Telefónica Tech IoT & Big Data. The purpose is to analyse the different sources of data to improve sports performance, attract talent and monitor and improve the sports performance of the players in the men’s first team. Combining 5G technology, edge computing and IoT, the platform provides the club with agility and flexibility for rapid decision making. The platform is robust and scalable and is designed to be multi-sport, so it would be suitable for other sporting activities.

“This project goes beyond the sporting level. We intend to initiate a process for the generation of collaborative environments that seeks to have a real impact on society. A process of transformation and professionalisation in the football industry with the aim of implementing synergies within our business group to make Granada CF a benchmark in sport and business and consolidate the sustainable growth of the Club,” said Patricia Rodriguez, director of Granada CF.

“The incorporation of IoT and big data solutions in the sports field will allow coaches and players to know their performance in order to develop better game strategies on the field. Through data analytics, information such as the speed at which they play, the way they run or their heart rate can be obtained in order to improve the way they play and avoid possible injuries and more serious illnesses. This pioneering technology solution opens up a whole world of possibilities for its use not only in football, but also in other sports,” said Gonzalo Martín-Villa, CEO of IoT and Big Data at Telefónica Tech.

Another project that can be seen from Telefónica at this year’s Mobile World Congress is the one carried out at the Abanca-Riazor Stadium in A Coruña, home of Real Club Deportivo, together with partners cinfo and Ericsson. A dedicated 5G network has been installed making it the European stadium with the most complete 5G deployment and largest use cases. The network deployment, together with cinfo’s tiivii product, enables live broadcasts of sporting events with automated edge computing and artificial intelligence, as well as additional services such as KissCam, augmented reality heat mapping and multi-camera TV. This democratises live sports broadcasts and the professional production of all kinds of events, whether regional or local, at a much lower cost.

“Telefónica has deployed in the Abanca Riazor stadium the first use case using 5G technologies in millimetre band, 26GHz. The combination of 5G, edge computing and AI allows us to bring high quality sporting event broadcasts to more clubs and sports,” said Mercedes Fernández, Innovation Manager at Telefónica Spain.

The Wanda Metropolitano is another case in point, having been converted by Telefónica, with the intervention of technologies such as IoT or big data, into the first 100% digital stadium in Europe to generate a unique experience for spectators. Atlético de Madrid’s stadium offers a hyper-connected space with an extraordinarily powerful network infrastructure in which all the services required by the Club are housed.

As with the rest of the experiences that Telefónica offers during the celebration of Mobile, the ‘Sport 4.0’ demo can be visited in person at the stand that the company has at the MWC facilities or in the digital twin that has been created to make it possible to follow the Congress virtually, which includes the transformation booklet that includes the value proposition that the company proposes to the world of sport.

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